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The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

Romance

The Paradise Problem

Repeat author

Christina Lauren is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include In a Holidaze and The True Love Experiment.

by Christina Lauren

Excellent choice

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Money makes people do strange things. For example, get married for a mega inheritance, then actually fall in love.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Multiple_Viewpoints

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Salacious

    Salacious

  • Illustrated icon, Glamorous

    Glamorous

  • Illustrated icon, Fake_Dating

    Fake Dating

Synopsis

Anna Green thought she was marrying Liam “West” Weston for access to subsidized family housing while at UCLA. She also thought she’d signed divorce papers when the graduation caps were tossed, and they both went on their merry ways.

Three years later, Anna is a starving artist living paycheck to paycheck while West is a Stanford professor. He may be one of four heirs to the Weston Foods conglomerate, but he has little interest in working for the heartless corporation his family built from the ground up. He is interested, however, in his one-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. There’s just one catch.

Due to an antiquated clause in his grandfather’s will, Liam won’t see a penny until he’s been happily married for five years. Just when Liam thinks he’s in the home stretch, pressure mounts from his family to see this mysterious spouse, and he has no choice but to turn to the one person he’s afraid to introduce to his one-percenter parents—his unpolished, not-so-ex-wife.

But in the presence of his family, Liam’s fears quickly shift from whether the feisty, foul-mouthed, paint-splattered Anna can play the part to whether the toxic world of wealth will corrupt someone as pure of heart as his surprisingly grounded and loyal wife. Liam will have to ask himself if the price tag on his flimsy cover story is worth losing true love that sprouted from a lie.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Paradise Problem.

The Paradise Problem

Prologue

ANNA

The day my husband moves out of our apartment is also the day Resident Evil Village releases for PlayStation, and you might be surprised which of these things lands with a greater emotional impact.

But given that I am not a monster, and that we have indeed enjoyed this apartment together for two years, I do what any woman who’s been given the couch and TV in a divorce would do: I watch with a supportive smile as West and his two well-muscled and newly minted PhD bros carry box after box, dining chair after dining chair, suitcase after suitcase, and the remaining ninety percent of the furniture and decor out to the moving van parked at the curb. I now have hardly any earthly goods to my name, and I guess that’s a little sad—I’ve made great use of West’s stuff over the past two years—but this moment was inevitable.

At least I take comfort in knowing that packing my own belongings in two weeks will be significantly easier than this.

Out at the curb, West emerges from the back of the truck and hops gracefully down to the street, gazing up at what I’m sure is a highly organized packing job. You should have seen our pantry: truly a work of cataloging genius. My meticulous ex is twenty-eight, infrequently verbal, and one of those incredibly capable men who make complicated things like doing taxes and fixing holes in drywall look easy. I admit, beyond the sexy capability vibe, West is also a fox. He’s that perfect combination of height and muscle, though I have no idea how tall he is. Is it weird that I’ve never asked? I realize that most tall women are obsessed with how tall other people are, but I’ve never had that itch. I’ve known lots of men—men who are taller, men who are shorter, men who are exactly my height. All I know is that West is chin-at-eye-level tall. At our wedding he had to bend to kiss me.

I haven’t thought about that day in ages, but I guess it makes sense that I’m thinking about it now. That kiss feels like it happened a lifetime ago. Two years into this adventure, and I’m better acquainted with the couch he’s leaving behind than I am with him.

Now, standing on the sidewalk, he turns and looks at me, our eyes meeting and giving me a weird, wavy feeling in my stomach, a touch of lightheadedness. It’s not low blood sugar; I ate half a bag of jalapeño chips while I watched him pack. And it’s not the heat; May in LA is the very definition of temperate. I think, strangely, it’s him.

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Why I love it

Anna and Liam got married in college. Kind of. They also got divorced in college. Kind of.

When Liam proposed to Anna—to get subsidized family housing at UCLA—she said yes. Liam was her best friend’s older brother, would probably (hopefully) be an okay roommate, and she’d be able to afford rent. So! She married him, they lived as roommates while remaining virtual strangers, then signed divorce papers on Liam’s graduation.... Except, they didn’t.

Three years after Liam’s departure, Anna is struggling to make ends meet as an artist. She has just been fired from her part-time job, needs to get her car fixed, and is drowning in hospital bills. So when Liam shows up at her door and tells her they’re still legally married and needs her to pretend to be his wife on a family trip, it’s the least of her issues.

To receive his one-hundred-million-dollar inheritance, Liam needs to prove he has been successfully married for the last five years. The problem is that one, he hasn’t, and two, his father suspects as much. His only shot at securing his inheritance is to bring Anna to his sister’s island wedding and convince his family they are happily married and in love.

A dreamy resort, a dysfunctional family, and a delightful, blossoming romance, The Paradise Problem has everything a perfect summer read should.

Romance
Yours Truly
One-Star Romance
Leather & Lark
Happily Never After
The Paradise Problem
Not in Love
The Rom-Commers
Butcher & Blackbird
Ready or Not
Just for the Summer
How to End a Love Story
The Second Chance Year
A Winter in New York
This Spells Love
The Gentleman’s Gambit
Red, White & Royal Blue
You, Again
Love, Theoretically
People We Meet on Vacation
Hello Stranger
Stars in Your Eyes
Part of Your World
Love & Other Disasters
Georgie, All Along
It Ends with Us
The Heart Principle
The True Love Experiment
A Rogue of One's Own
The Holiday Swap
The Bodyguard
The Love Hypothesis
One Last Stop
The Bride Test
Love on the Brain
Head Over Heels
The Reunion
This Time Next Year
The Kiss Quotient
One Day in December
Things You Save in a Fire
Lunar Love
Bringing Down the Duke
Ana María and the Fox
Beach Read
Before I Let Go
The Boyfriend Project
How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days
The Heiress Gets a Duke
The Rewind
In a Holidaze
The Kiss Curse
Kiss Her Once for Me
Romance
View all
Yours Truly
One-Star Romance
Leather & Lark
Happily Never After
The Paradise Problem
Not in Love
The Rom-Commers
Butcher & Blackbird
Ready or Not
Just for the Summer
How to End a Love Story
The Second Chance Year
A Winter in New York
This Spells Love
The Gentleman’s Gambit
Red, White & Royal Blue
You, Again
Love, Theoretically
People We Meet on Vacation
Hello Stranger
Stars in Your Eyes
Part of Your World
Love & Other Disasters
Georgie, All Along
It Ends with Us
The Heart Principle
The True Love Experiment
A Rogue of One's Own
The Holiday Swap
The Bodyguard
The Love Hypothesis
One Last Stop
The Bride Test
Love on the Brain
Head Over Heels
The Reunion
This Time Next Year
The Kiss Quotient
One Day in December
Things You Save in a Fire
Lunar Love
Bringing Down the Duke
Ana María and the Fox
Beach Read
Before I Let Go
The Boyfriend Project
How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days
The Heiress Gets a Duke
The Rewind
In a Holidaze
The Kiss Curse
Kiss Her Once for Me